Coffee and Tea Festival NYC
I am attempting to start a boycott of the two Coffee and Tea Festivals, the one in NYC and the one in Philadelphia. This is because of the rude and threatening way I was treated by the security at the festival. It should be noted that his security is not from a professional company but big street thugs he hires for their size. I am no small person and these guys made me look like a light weight.
Now as to what was done to me. I had finished my shopping at around 12 noon and went to use the bathroom. I had been in the bathroom five minutes when these thugs started banging on the door telling me I had to get out. Of course I told them to go away. This got me quite angry. When I got out of the bathroom a couple of minutes later I was confronted by the whole security staff as if I had stolen from one of the vendors. The security staff continued to threaten me and called over the owner of the festival. When I asked him if it was his policy to harass people for using the bathroom he said yes. At this point I called him an asshole and they threw me out of the festival. I am currently looking for a lawyer to sue the man and his security detail. These were the least professional security on the planet.
Because of what was done to me I have demanded an apology from the owner of the festival. So far I have not gotten one. It is now my desire to cause him to lose so much business that he chooses to publicly apologize. I was publicly humiliated. The apology should be public. He will certainly see this page. The more people who sign up for this boycott, the more likely I am to get an apology for the despicable way I was treated.
I’m very sorry Allan that your day was ruined by these people. We come to tea festivals to taste different teas, talk to the vendors and shop of course lol. It’s a special time to connect with other tea people and maybe even make new friends. The whole thing sounds outrageous and very unprofessional :(
Like I said his security was unprofessional thugs. They were probably taking revenge because I had made a complaint earlier in the day. There actions were totally uncalled for and I hope more people will support me on here.
Pretty bad when they give you a hard time over a natural body function. Seems petty that they harassed you for something they eventually have to do as well.
I think they were taking revenge because I had complained earlier about something. They tried to claim I had been in the bathroom for a half hour which was a lie. Had I been thinking clearly at the time I would have shown the convention owner my electronic receipt from a time the security said I was in the bathroom. It may have been a case of racism too.
I asked if we could wait in the lobby as it was freezing. They said no. I complained about the rule as not very nice. It was particularly cold that morning.
They have taken the standard from the customer is always right and changed it to read the customer is always wrong. Or our security thugs are always in the right no matter what they are doing.
How awful! Do you have any social media info handy for the owner of the festival? Either to post here or PM me?
If you mean did I record the incident, no. I was not thinking clearly at the time or I would have put them all on video. And it was the owner of the festival who threw me out without any cause. It is from him I have demanded an apology. I sent the demand to their website but have not heard anything. It seems he feels he has a right to treat any festival attendee as a piece of garbage when he feels like it.
Just found their info. And posted to their Twitter and FB. A little step, but hope it helps!
Thank you for posting. If the man had hired professional security this would never have happened. But his security was fairly obviously big street toughs. The outweighed me by at least 100 lbs and I am no lightweight. I think he simply found the biggest thugs he could find in Brooklyn and hired them. They behaved like thugs so I call them thugs. Real security would have been professional and not bothered me at all for I was doing nothing wrong.
I sent an email yesterday demanding an apology but have received no reply. The owner of the festival obviously does not believe in the concept that the customer is always right like the jobs I have worked. He believes that he is always right and has the right to do anything he wants.
I won’t be going since you had a hard time. I’d probably end up in a fight with the security if they treat me like that. Nobody threatens me!
The problem was there were five of them threatening me. And they were huge at least 350lbs a piece. If I had started a fight I would have lost and they would have called the cops. The tea I had purchased would have gone to someone else as I probably would have been unable to keep hold of it if I had fought. These were not professional security. A professional security guard would never have acted that way.
I think if I had thrown a punch I would have been giving these thugs what they most wanted, a legal excuse to beat the crap out of me. But as there were five of them and one of me it did not seem like a good idea, even if I thought I could somehow hold on to my tea purchases in the middle of it. As it was I told them if they so much as touched me I would have them arrested for assault.
Start a backcharge on the ticket prices, saying they removed you from the event and you didnt get the full value of the ticket. These things are a MAJOR pain in the rear for the person who gets the chargeback.
It would be great if I got more support on this boycott. This could happen to anyone who goes to the festival. The security is all thugs and they clearly fuck with anyone they want and the owner of the festival has no actual control over them. He of course was just as bad as he upheld their right to harass me. I am only calling for the boycott until I get a public apology from the owner and the promise he will not use street thugs for security next year.
Ill give support, but as I no longer live in NY, there really isnt much else I can do.
IF you ever get out to vegas in early spring come down to our festival, its incredibly laid back, and they let the hotel’s security handle everything and they are very professional.
I gladly will join the boycott Allan. Tea is rooted in peace. Your experience was unacceptable.
Thank You for your support. The only seller selling Puerh has a website anyway, Meimei Fine Teas. They sold me some good tea but like a lot of domestic sites they were overpriced. This actually all happened when I had made all my purchases and was about to leave. The owner of the festival needs to be taught a lesson about how he and his security treat people especially paying customers with $700 worth of tea in their hands. He clearly did not care that I had just spent a small fortune. I spent almost as much there as on my last Yunnan Sourcing order and Yunnan Sourcing was a better deal.
This now comes up on page two of a google search.
Can someone post a link of some kind, Facebook or whatever, so we can help let our views be known about this Coffee and Tea Festival in New York City?
I’m sorry this happened to you, Allan, and yes I believe you. Like you said, you are a significant customer of tea businesses. By repelling people who spend rather than just going around mooching samples, they are losing the people who help fund these events and make it worthwhile for vendors to attend.
I probably bought from a dozen vendors. Spent the most at Meimei Fine Teas, Capital Teas, and the Angry Tea Room. Might have bought a couple more on my way out if I wasn’t busy be harassed by security.
I posted on the Facebook reviews. I noticed a number of negative reviews. Mainly from people who expected coffee or hated the crowds.
The best way to make a better impact would be something more local rather than trying to work Google. Letter to the Village Voice?
That is an interesting idea. I never thought of that. I wonder if they would publish a letter if I wrote them. I will do a search for their website. But I didn’t think the Village Voice was local to Brooklyn where the tea festival was.
I was trying to think of something local people look at to find events and things to do. Lew Perin and boychik live in Brooklyn, as you probably know, maybe they might have an idea of a good publication. The Voice is a good place, especially if you got hassled in the bathroom based on gay stereotyping.
In fact if I could have claimed that sort of discrimination I would have no trouble finding a lawyer to take my case. I suppose they could have actually believed I was in the restroom for thirty minutes and simply have been wrong. I suppose they could have thought I was gay. I do have proof that they were wrong about it. I have been going on the assumption that they were lying not that they were simply mistaken. Either way they are in the wrong.
Yeah it’s the “could have thought” that I’m wondering about. What were they thinking? Drugs? Sex? Solicitation? Why else would they object to someone in the bathroom? It’s the implied assumption, true or no, whatever it was, that disturbs me.
I have yet to figure out why they did it. I have assumes to some degree that it was intentional revenge because I had lodged a complaint that morning, but that assumes they watched me go in the bathroom otherwise how did they know who was in there. They could not see me at that point. It had to be completely premeditated for this to make any sense. The idea that it was some sort of misunderstanding does not explain it. Even if they actually thought I had been in the bathroom for thirty minutes that was not an acceptable reason to harass me and throw me out of the convention. Someone who is in the bathroom for thirty minutes is probably sick and do you harass someone for that. So even if they genuinely thought that it doesn’t make any sense. I have asked several vendors to lodge complaints for me. One of them, Meimei Fine Teas got back to me. She said the event organizer told her he would be contacting me with an apology. But I have not heard anything yet and am not getting my hopes up. The most annoying thing about this is it makes no sense that they did this.
They were there watching me when I came out of the bathroom. They saw that I had been alone in there as to one of your suggestions. So they could not have thought that.
based on that type of security, there may be something else going on with them. Something they are involved in, maybe some deal about to go down, or some other issue. I’m glad you are physically okay and it could have got a lot worse. The fact that the organizer is not ready to apologize, since it was a coffee/tea festival, and people involved in these events are usually peaceful and consumer oriented, suggests there may be a whole nuther level here.
It’s easy to apologize, you aren’t asking for much in that. The fact that he isn’t doing it means he’s really not in our world.
In that case, you might be lucky to have got home okay, and better they not know where you live.
I don’t think they know where I live. That would not be included in the ticket I bought. And it certainly wouldn’t be included in the emails. In the email I sent him I just used my first name there so he may not even have my full name. They didn’t ask my name as they were harassing me and throwing me out. I asked for their names but they would not give them out, not even their first names with which I could lodge a specific complaint. I don’t think they have my name. I did not give it to them as they were throwing me out. If one of them did come to my door I would automatically assume they meant violence and attack them with everything I have. And I am not going to say on here what I have here to defend myself with as they are probably reading this post soon after I write it. You see I know he is aware of this thread. The other day this thread was on page two of a google search. Now it does not come up at all unless you include the word boycott. He obviously saw this boycott thread and used a service that removes negative results from a google search.
Also, if they did show up at my door they would be doing me a favor in a fashion. Then a lawyer would see money in my case and take it so I could sue them. As it is no lawyer I have spoken to sees a monetary award in this so they won’t take the case unless I pay them thousands of dollars.
Well I think it is obvious that the asshole has seen this page. Yesterday it was coming up on page two of a google search. Now it only comes up as general Steepster and that is when you include the word boycott in the search. He has done something that negates the proper search results. I guess he is doubling down on his right to harass people.
i really think you cannot do much other than just not going :(. i definately will not go. nobody harasses my friends!
I have not given up looking for a lawyer to take my case. I do want to sue him. But I have been advised that if a pay for the lawyer he will just take my money and not do much. I have to find a lawyer who will work on a contingency basis and only gets paid if there is a settlement or a win in court.
I went to this same festival and didn’t have any problems. What did he think you stole? Which vendor was this?
He did not think I stole anything, nor was I accused. I was harassed by security for using the bathroom. When I asked him if it was official policy to harass people for using the bathroom he said yes. It may have been revenge for I had made a complaint earlier in the day. It is earlier in the thread if you look. I stated the reason I was expelled from the festival above at the beginning. Every word is true.
Oh I see. I hope that wasn’t the only reason. ALthough they did make us wait outside in Philly too. They probably can’t let us in for security reasons :(
If security started yelling at you when you were in the bathroom and started making threats to open the door on you, you would be pissed too. They falsely accused me of having been in the bthroom for a half hour in order to justify their actions. But I can prove them wrong. I exited the bathroom at 12:10 pm and I have an electronic receipt from 11:59 am for my final purchase at the show. These security guards are scum. I have no good words for them at all.
Where was this thing held, a hotel or convention center? Its really odd that they hired private security at all.
Convention Center and I am certain they hired their own security. Regardless the security was nothing better than thugs. They were in no way professional. Professional security would not make threats.